COVER STORY – Lent
I’ve never found myself in a situation where I felt I needed to refuse a gift. Some obviously have. No honorable woman would ever, for example, accept a diamond ring while refusing a marriage proposal (as much as she might like to). Others may have found it necessary to refuse gifts that would obligate them to unacceptable terms or conditions.
Beginning February 26th, our God will again be offering to each of us the gift of Lent. The question that confronts all Christians each Lenten season is whether we will accept or refuse this divine present. How, why, would any Child of God refuse?
Time for introspection and contemplation
The gift that our God offers in connection with the season of Lent is a unique and invaluable time for introspection and contemplation, but it does not come without certain obligations. Human beings are, by nature, hedonistic, superficial, ungrateful, and lazy. We also have a natural sense of entitlement, imagining that we deserve whatever good things we want or receive. Christians know better, but our Adversary has learned from experience that if he can fill our existence with distractions and obligations, if he can create a world of perpetual preoccupation, he can tap into both our natural laziness and our sense of entitlement, and thereby convince us that the obligations of Lent outweigh the benefits.
Counting the cost
The point here is not that the obligations of Lent aren’t real. They are. Begin therefore by counting the cost. If your plate is truly full, you can’t add more without forcing something else off. “Carving out time” implies that something has to be cut off and discarded. Recognize also that the obligations of Lent involve more than just an hour or two for a half dozen Wednesday services (which can include cleaning off and bundling up little ones, a cold car ride, and the disruption of the family routine). Read More »Will You Accept the Gift of Lent?